Spam referral sites are generally harmless, but can be a nuisance when it comes to producing accurate analytics data for your site. Today, Sanna and Riikka combine their powers and have some tips on what to look out for and how to deal with such sites.

Riikka
New spam referral sites crop up all the time and can really play havoc with your sites’ analytics data.

Spam referral sites are normally created to crawl the web and make site requests using a fake URL – some sites publish their access logs, meaning they then link back to the spam referral site, inadvertently improving its search engine ranking.

While these sites are generally harmless, those repeated visits to your pages can make your data inaccurate. You should regularly check referrals to your site from your analytics tool and see if any such sites are producing referrals. You can identify such sites as all of the referrals will show as new visits in your analytics tool, even across lots of different pages and parts of the site.”

Sanna
“There are various ways to block such sites and data from your analytics. Some hosted sites, such as WordPress or Squarespace, will have an option to mark specific referrers as spam and will then block them. Most analytics tools will allow you to mark such sites as spam and also add filters, and, if you host your own site, you can also configure your server to block them.

For example, in Google Analytics, you can add a custom filter to aid the removal of spam data in your analytics. From the GA Admin section, create a filter, and add the following Custom filter -> exclude -> filter field=referral.

For even more information and tips on how to stop spam bots from ruining your data, check out this great article from moz.com.”

[tips guest=”riikka”]
[tips guest=”sanna”]